(This was written a while back but never posted… until now 😄)
Here I am at 10,000 feet, writing on my Macbook Pro. I have some time to kill, so I am “working”.
Except it’s pretty difficult to work when you’re on a plane. Your arms are squished in at weird angles and there’s not enough room to open the top of your laptop all the way.
A few years ago when I jumped ship from a good job to go freelance, I never thought I’d be working from a plane.
Yet here I sit, after buying a rum and coke and drinking a smuggled coconut drink mixed with leftover Coke. My brain is somewhat addled, and yet in a Hunter S. Thompson sort of fashion I figured I would write a bit.
After a couple of years of making money freelance, you learn a bit. You realize that life is not what they tell you in school. You can really do whatever you want – whenever you want.
I’ve been on a trip to Florida with family. My wife and 2 kids and my in-laws have been taking in all that Florida’s west coast has to offer. Despite all the good times, I’ve actually been able to work a bit – getting a couple hours in here and there.
I was able to throw together a new version of the Webcore website. I always tell clients “it’s all about the content”, so I figured I’d put my money where my mouth was. A new blog has been reimagined with a slightly different layout.
Also, a small yet big deal was that we dropped a capital ‘C’ from the Webcore name. And it’s not “WebCore Internet Solutions” – it’s just “Webcore”.
A thought that keeps occurring during this trip is, “Can I sustain a business while only working 30 or so hours a week?” I love my job, don’t get me wrong, but duties pertaining to family keep me otherwise occupied and only allow me to get in so many hours per week. I love it – and love my family – but I worry often if I might fail.
I worry that I won’t be able to keep the family afloat.
Business is a weird thing. It’s almost the exact opposite of getting paid hourly. You might be away from your office/laptop, but meet someone that totally changes the direction of your business.
Sometimes it’s on a smaller scale, but a chance meeting might lead to a huge amount of business. You just need to talk to people and you never know what magical things might shake out.
For instance, we were in Tampa and my kids and mother in law were riding “sea ponies”. They got to ride horses into the water, into the Gulf of Mexico. It wasn’t far out, but they rode out onto sandbars. The horses were actually swimming! I got to see my son stand up on a horse and jump off of it! All in waters where there are stingrays and dolphins all over the place.
The company that owns the horses has a website, and it just so happened that their photographer was there taking pictures of the event to slap up on their website. We got to talking and he is a very interesting guy.
He gave us all sorts of information about the area that we never owuld have happened upon otherwise. He was also into WordPress and social marketing, so we had a ton to talk about.
We exchanged business cards and later I checked out his website and I’m pretty sure he checked out mine. He sent me an email with more info about Tampa and what we could do in the area, which was really cool. We had to leave the next day, but it generated interest in me to maybe come back and check out more about Tampa.
So I wasn’t “working” most of the day; I wasn’t in front of my comptuer writing or coding. However, I met someone that could partner with me on cool projects in the future.
I’m not saying you have to never be home in your office working on stuff, but I am saying it’s good to get out and talk to people. You never know what sort of connections you can make.
These sorts of connections are invaluable to your business. Meeting online is all well and good, but there will never, ever, be anything as good as talking to someone and seeing them face to face. Seeing their facial ticks; feeling their reactions to what you say.
During the week we spent in Florida, I probably “worked” 25 hours or so. But I learned so much. And I still accomplished so much.
I made a whole new WordPress site for Webcore and launched it.
I totally changed the look and feel of this website.
The face of the company has changed. The website has better content and more content on it. I think it better describes what we do and how we do it.
I know more about what Webcore is and how to relate it to people.
Sometimes it takes stepping back and looking at everything from a different angle. Sometimes that requires flying 1,000 miles away for a week.
I guess my point is that in business you just need to keep at it. Don’t kill yourself with 70 hours a week. Enjoy yourself. Have fun. But always be thinking about your business. Keep at it. Keep moving along and progressing. Talk to people and make connections. Those connections are invaluable.
Life isn’t about living in a cubicle. It’s about getting out there and telling your story. It’s about talking to people and being real. I know I’ll survive and make money and be able to feed my family.
And you can too.